Just spotted your dream job? Rushed off to polish your CV and digging out your interview outfit? Remember your social media presence – it’s important! Don’t let your Facebook profile contradict your professional attire. These are our tips for ensuring an unguarded tweet doesn’t prove disastrous for your job prospects.
Your LinkedIn profile is probably the first place the hirer will visit. It should reflect your CV in terms of experience, positions, employers and dates. You don’t want to create doubt as to your capabilities so resist the temptation to inflate your CV if you are not prepared to alter your LinkedIn profile. Make sure the dates match – it’s not only about trustworthiness, it also shows attention to detail – you’re not sloppy with the facts. Make sure your LinkedIn profile’s up to date. All recent roles, qualifications, training and projects should be on there. If you can increase your recommendations this is the time to do it. Contact recent employers and line managers to provide a short endorsement – it provides the reassurance all hirers are looking for.
Read our LinkedIn networking tips here.
Most people think of Facebook as a personal space to share with friends and family, which it is. If you haven’t specified the privacy settings on your account, however, anyone can have a look at your profile. We’d recommend putting your profile on high privacy settings but if there are reasons you’d rather not, you need to have a good look at your profile. Hirers can be put off by overtly political or religious posting. Photos of a fun night out may look to an outsider like the behaviour of a debauched party animal (who may not be at their best at an early meeting!). Your friends may be impressed by your glowing beach-ready body but employers may have reservations about your keenness to show off. You don’t need to change your timeline to fit your image of the perfect employee. Just be aware that your more ‘niche’ interests may cast doubt on your suitability. Your social media presence shouldn’t put a potential hirer on high alert!
If you use Twitter to chat with friends, follow your favourite musicians and share celebrity gossip, it shouldn’t come under the radar of an employer. It’s quite difficult to track down a Twitter user if you use a different picture and alternative email address. If you don’t want to be found, you might want to change your Twitter name to something other than … well your name. However, Twitter can be a great tool for demonstrating your expertise. If you are sharing industry knowledge, following key influencers and joining current professional conversations you can indirectly impress potential hirers. Some Twitter users carefully combine their professional interests with their personal ones, conveying the expertise and personality through a stream of Tweets. For example a mixture of SuccessFactors insights with broader HR information and also news about elite cycling and craft beer, conveys an image beyond your CV. The key is in developing an awareness of how your Twitter profile may be perceived from outside – careful management can really pay off.
Whatever social media platforms you’re on, take a moment to stand back and view your social media presence as an outsider, as a hirer. What may be orthodoxy within your friends network, may be considered ‘alternative’ in a professional context. Check your privacy settings too – not only may it hide parts of your personal life that you’d rather stay personal, but it also shows that you are aware of privacy and you are savvy enough to be aware of your online presence.